Many dogs are prone to problematic ears. Certain breeds with ears that hang down can be predisposed to infections and yeast, and those who swim can be plagued with ear troubles, too. Parasites can also invade the ear canal. Chronic and persistent ear ailments that do not clear up using simple measures, require veterinary attention. Contact your holistic vet for a moderate treatment option.
Here are a few home remedies and tips, for maintaining ear health:
Diet: A grain-free diet like Embark, Force, Zeal and Preference almost always helpful in combating chronic yeast infections. Grains contain sugars – and yeasts can feed on these, and multiply. In most milder cases, eliminating grains and cleaning the ears of any built up debris will set your dog on a path to long term ear health.
Altering the pH of the ear is a primary step in combating yeast and bacterial infections. The following ear cleaners can be prepared at home, and work double duty to correct the pH and kill any contaminants residing there.
A topical solution made with 1 cup of warm water and 2 tablespoons of one or more of the following: hydrogen peroxide, apple cider (or white) vinegar, or plantain tincture can be used to wipe out excess debris.
A number of good, natural commercial products are also available from pet & health food stores. Calendula Lotion is nice product for topical use – we like one made by Weleda.
Products containing Tea Tree Oil are helpful, as are those containing Gentian Violet, which is a purple dye used in microscopy as a biological stain and in medicine as a bactericide, fungicide, and anthelmintic, are also superb for cleaning the ears.
Never poke Q Tips or anything else right inside the ear canal and don’t squirt or pour large volumes of these topical applications into the ears; a small amount on a cotton ball is usually sufficient.
Pulsatilla is helpful for acute flare-ups with sensitivity and redness, along with a yellowish discharge. Pulsatilla animals like to sit near open windows, hate getting their paws wet and won’t go out in the rain.
Hepar Sulph is useful for irritable animals who don’t like to have their inflamed ears touched.
For animals that have a severe, malodorous discharge that causes hair loss around and under the ears, Tellurium is helpful. The ears are extremely sensitive and the discharge may have a fish-like smell.
As with any persistent health condition, always consult your veterinarian to be sure that an underlying illness requiring medical attention is not the cause.
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